The Shelbyville City Council met on Monday night and were addressed by visitors from Shelbyville’s sister city in Japan.

Okuwa, Japan and Shelbyville became sister cities in 1993. Alternating years, with some exceptions, delegates of Okuwa come to Shelbyville and vice versa.

Two citizens of Okuwa recently visited Shelbyville and addressed the city council with admiration and the council, likewise, appreciated their comments. Small gift boxes of Japanese art were given to each council member.

After that the council turned to business without Commissioner Martha Firnhaber, who was absent.

The city approved a plat change for 1120 N Broadway requested by Fox and Austin Concrete for the construction of a subdivision. The change was from 3 lots to 12. It was unanimously approved.

The city also was asked to approve a bid for a backhoe for the Street Dept. Commissioner Schafer reported that they were looking at $96,000 backhoe and Birkey’s offered them a $66,000 trade-in, so the cost would be about $30,000. The council approved the purchase unanimously.

The council was asked to approve advertising for bids for a backhoe for the Water Dept. That was approved unanimously.

The council was asked to approve the advertising for bids for water meters, software and billing software for the Water Dept. That was approved unanimously.

The council was asked to approve an agreement with Eastern Illinois Properties for Infrastructure Reimbursement. The mayor said that the agreement would make the reimbursement more formal and binding.

Eastern Illinois Properties is to construct apartments and they will provide the infrastructure work, but are to be reimbursed by the city. The agreement was unanimously approved.

The council was asked to approve an agreement with Chastain and Associates for general services. It was unanimously approved.

There was a request to approve a bid and a contract to roof the Senior Citizens Center in Forest Park. It was brought up earlier, but there was a question about insurance. The agreement was approved contingent on the insurance agreement.

Steets Commissioner Thom Schafer reported that the last amount of oiling is going to be done. Commissioner Shanks reported that the Shelbyville Bike park has completed to this point and it is a “raging success.” He reminded the council that some man-made features will be added in the spring.

“It is already bringing people to our community,” Shanks said.

Schafer also reported that a program from Ameren Power called “Right Place, Right Tree” is offering to cut trees on city property, especially on boulevards that have become an obstacle.

They offer to cut the trees down, if the city will haul them off and will give $125 per tree. Schafer said the Street Dept. has agreed to go along with the program and it will be instituted next spring.

He said Wright’s have already cut down about 20 trees that were an immediate danger.

“This is a win/win for everybody,” Schafer said.

Schafer also reported that the bucket truck had been repaired, but on the way home from picking it up it broke down. A cable broke going to the battery. So, he said there will be more repairs made. The stump grinder is also being repaired.

Mayor Johnson announced that the Downtown Candy Run will be on October 30. The council went into executive session. Afterwards, no action was reported.

The council was asked if they were creating a referendum for voters on the Chautauqua Building or other public spending in the near future in light of the December 30 deadline for a referendum to be put on the ballot.

Mayor Johnson responded that the Chautuaqua will be on the agenda for the next meeting, October 21.

John Curtis can be reached at

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